April 25, 2007


John 11:17-27

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies ..." John 11:25


The resurrection is no mere doctrine or holy possibility; Jesus himself embodies the resurrection life. "I am the resurrection," he says. He is God's life to a dying world. In Christ death has been defeated, and to be sheltered in him is to have the life that is eternal.

Before our congregation moved to our present facilities, we worshiped in a school gym. In between the two morning services, I would sometimes sit in a large closet near the gym to collect my thoughts.

Once while I was sitting there, some children began playing a game of tag outside my door. Anyone tagged was out of the game, but, as I heard the rules, if you had your hand on the closet doorknob, you were safe. So as I sat there, more or less in the dark, I heard the children running and shouting and playing their game. And now and again I would hear one of them shout, "No; you can't tag me. I had my hand on the knob. I'm safe; I'm not out" (adapted from This Incomplete One).

We who walk in the valley of the shadow of death--often more or less in the dark--have our hand on Jesus. And we declare, "We're safe!" Death and suffering cannot take us out of the game.

We belong--body and soul, in life and in death--to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

This is our only real comfort in life and in death.

Lord Jesus, we believe you are the Lord over all of life and death and that with you we are more than conquerors. In your hands we are safe, no matter what happens. Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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